Tension is a boat speed killer. Tension that starts in your hands will travel up the arms and manifest in locked down shoulders and neck. Once the tension sinks into the shoulders and neck, the finish and the recovery are compromised. Loose muscles are fast muscles. Tense muscles are slow muscles. Yes, you need to hold onto the handle... but at the same time, you aren't trying to make it bleed. Find the balance between enough grip to suspend solidly from the handle and too much grip that leads to stiffness and clunkiness around the backend of the rowing stroke (not to mention wasted energy fro...

 

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